A Oklahoma House committee on Wednesday approved a bill that would repeal the Water for 2060 Act, the state’s long-term water management plan.
House Bill 1562, authored by State Rep. Paul Wesselhoft, R-Moore, would remove three sections of the law, which was enacted in 2012.
The bill would strike language concerning the state’s 50-year conservation goal of consuming no more freshwater in 2060 than was consumed statewide in 2012. The bill would also eliminate a 15-member advisory council.
The bill leaves untouched a fourth section of the law authorizing water conservation grant programs.
“I think trying to set policy for 50 years in the future is not responsible,” Wesselhoft said in a statement. “Obviously, we are going to work to create greater water conservation in the state, but laws setting precise goals for 2060 is simply ludicrous. Oklahoma’s population a half century from now will increase immensely and we will need much more water than the current law stipulates as a policy.”
The Oklahoma Water Resources Board helped draft the Water for 2060 Act. The OWRB’s Executive Director J.D. Strong says HB 1562 would effectively kill the framework of the state’s long-term water plan.
“It basically rolls back and undoes everything we did last session,” Strong tells StateImpact.
The House of Representative’s Administrative Rules, Government Oversight and Repealer Committee approved HB 1562, which can now be considered for a vote on the House floor.